15Methods of Modeling and Estimation in Mortality

The scope of this chapter is to present several important methods of modeling and estimation of mortality and health. Both subjects have gained significant attention from demographers and other scholars since the 17th Century, when the first life tables were invented. In the 19th and of course 20th Centuries, there were significant advances in the scientific progress in both fields. The Gompertz law (1825) is one example as well as the developments of scientific research concerning population health. A brief discussion of these developments will be carried out in this chapter.

15.1. Introduction

The study of the mortality of a population is not an easy venture. It dates back to the scientific revolution of the 17th Century and is still going on today with new approaches and the refinement of the old ones. Soon after the invention of the first life tables by Graunt (1662) and Halley (1693), two main approaches were developed: the first approach deals with the further improvement of life tables as a scientific instrument and the second one deals with the effort to formulate a general law for mortality in the human species. Thus, there are numerous publications for these efforts.

In this chapter, only the most important of those concerning mortality laws will be included. Thus, in the first part of this chapter a short historical valuation of the life tables will be presented. Afterward, a brief discussion of the most spread methods ...

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